Production News

Cunning Little Vixen lit by Trudy Dalgleish

Posted on Friday, June 30th, 2017

The forest comes alive in Victorian Opera’s new production of Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen. One of the great masterpieces of early twentieth century music, this rarely-heard opera was staged for five performances only.

Celebrating the beauty of nature and cycle of life, Cunning Little Vixen muses on the interaction between human and animal life. Set in an idyllic forest, the story follows a Vixen’s lyrical journey from youth to adulthood.

It’s about a forester who catches a baby vixen and takes it home to his kids for a pet. The baby vixen grows up at the forester’s house and his kids annoy the baby fox by poking it with sticks, so it kills all his chickens and escapes back to the forest where it meets a boy fox and they have cubs. The forester spends the rest of the opera trying to shoot the vixen, until one of his neighbours does it for him, to make the vixen into a muff for his new wife. Boy you have to love opera, always a happy ending! It’s basically about renew and the cycle of life and its set in a European forest through all the seasons.

Lighting designer Trudy Dalgleish was asked to create two worlds; the world of the animals which was beautiful and full of saturated colour and the world of the humans, which was stark, black and white, devoid of all colour. Trudy had to light all the seasons, in both worlds.

Trudy’s biggest challenge was the set which was a raked stage surrounded on three sides by sharks tooth gauzes and the stage itself was filled with skeletal metal trees.

“It usually takes me a week to work out a design, but this one took me three weeks of working out angles,” admitted Trudy. “The problem was if I was to light it from the front I would run into the trees, if I lit it from the sides there was only a 1700 gap before I would run into the gauze – so it was a real challenge to just light the people. The gauzes were hard as there was no space offstage to light through them and if I lit them from the front I would run into those trees again!”

Trudy commented that lamp placement was the most critical she has ever done. The result was six Claypaky Alphas located three metres behind the back scrim and three Martin MAC Vipers on lx 1 to light the back scrim. The sides were lit with two Alphas and two Vipers per scrim from the ends of the onstage lighting bars.

“This meant I could just squeeze past the onstage trees from the side,” she explained. “I have to say it was the hardest design I have ever done in the challengers that I had to work out. It seemed that once I had solved one problem, I had created another one or two! It was a real brain strain, but it looked so simple.”

Trudy needed shuttered lights with a large beam angle and she wasn’t able to use what she first requested as the hire company the opera preferred to use didn’t have that equipment.
“So I settled for Martin Viper Performances and Claypaky Alpha 700 profiles for the scrims, Martin Viper spots for the floor gobos and Quantum washes for the colour washes and specials,” she said. “The people light was supplied by ETC Source 4 26 degrees on side booms. Control was an MA Lighting grandMA 2 programmed by Peter Darby, Head LX for the Victoria Opera. I loved how bright the Quantums were, I ran them at only 20% for most of the show and I can’t wait to use them in an arena environment next week.”

Trudy’s favourite aspect of the production was being able to reproduce all the seasons in the animal world, she was really pleased with how they turned out.

Trudy can be contacted via her agent


Additive Lighting’s sweet success with Hot Brown Honey

Posted on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Fresh from acclaimed seasons in festivals around the world, Hot Brown Honey returned to Sydney Opera House this June. With lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment, this posse of phenomenal women smash stereotypes, remix the system and dare to celebrate our similarities and differences.

Lighting this audacious platter of dance, poetry, comedy, circus, striptease and song, was Paul Lim of Additive Lighting.

As the show title suggests, the set was designed to represent a bee hive with Busty Beatz, the musical director, the queen bee on top of this hive structure. The set designer Tristan Shelley came up with the idea of a honeycomb facade made up of yellow plastic buckets heat-formed into hexagons.  As Paul thought about how to light this structure it became obvious to him that he had to light each bucket and create their own low resolution LED screen.

“I wanted it to be a backdrop for the performances in front of it, but also character in its own right,” he explained. “I spent many late nights exploring the grandMA2 Bitmap Engine in MA3D, finding images and text that worked on the unconventional pixel layout.  It turns out text is not that easy to render in a hexagon grid!”

Paul’s biggest challenge was the budget, saying he built an LED screen on the smell of a soldering iron!

“I knew what I wanted it to do and I knew that if I ordered components direct from China, I could build it myself,” he said. “However this meant that there were many late nights soldering plugs and sockets and control boxes and hot gluing LED strip. We had a lot of reliability issues early on, but after a couple of iterations on how the set is constructed, we’ve made it robust enough to be transported and bumped in in two hours.”

The main touring rig consists of six profile moving lights (MAC Quantum Profiles), six LED wash moving lights (Claypaky K10 or MAC Aura XB) and six small LED Pars for footlights. In the Sydney Opera House, in-house stock consisting of MAC 700 Profiles and MAC 250 Wash were used.  Control is grandMA2.

The hive consists of 266 x 24V warm white Led strip in buckets with twelve 27 channel LED controller.

“As the hive is monochrome I really enjoyed the different textures, images and text I could render on it,” said Paul, when asked for a favourite moment in the show.  “We got enough variation with the single colour and I feel that the simplicity is part of its strength. I particularly enjoy the smiley faces bouncing around during Bali Bagus and scrolling text during Hair. The strength of timecode should not be underestimated in programming a show like this. It promotes repeatability as well as real visceral link between the music and the lighting.”

Recipients of the 2016 UK’s Total Theatre Award for Innovation and Australia’s Greenroom Awards for Best Production and Best Design, Hot Brown Honey have lit centrestage at the most prestigious venues  and festivals across the globe including Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Arts Centre, Brisbane Festival, Tiger Dublin Fringe, Auckland Pride Festival and Hull Freedom Festival to name a few.


ShowPro LED House Lights ‘work perfectly’ in School Theatre

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Stuart Feldt from Camberwell Grammar School’s technical services department, had been looking to replace the house lights in the school’s theatre for quite some time.

“We had 500 watt tungsten lamps in physically large fixtures, similar to warehouse lights,” he explained.  “They used a lot of power and lamps were blowing regularly.”

The specification for the new lights was that they had to have smooth dimming to zero, silent operation with no fan, and the look and feel of a tungsten light so regular patrons wouldn’t notice the fixtures had changed.

The existing fixtures had a visible filament and this, combined with the fitting, threw shadows onto the brick walls of the theatre. Stuart remarked that they wanted to retain that look so that the building didn’t look stark and flat.

System Design and Integration was done by Michael Zagarn who recommended the ShowPro LED House Light with consistent warm white output suitable for live and broadcast applications.

“The ShowPro LED House Lights work perfectly, and the DMX dimming allowed us to integrate control from Dynalite and our ArtNET theatre lighting system,” remarked Stuart. “Power consumption has been cut by 80%, with heat load savings as well.”

The ShowPro LED House Light also offers silent operation due to its’ advanced convection-cooled design. An adjustable PWM frequency ensures flicker-free, camera-safe performance. A removable yoke and permanent cable anchor allow for pendant suspension mounting. There are three interchangeable lenses to match beam angle to mounted height as well as an optical egg crate diffuser and top hat accessories.

“Our forty-six ShowPro LED House Lights have been performing better than expected,” said Stuart. “We are extremely happy with them. The small point source creates the interesting shadows we wanted to retain. Dimming is smooth. The light output is at least 30% brighter across the space, and the choice of lenses provides us with a narrower beam option which we used in the fittings around the edge of the theatre thus keeping the light intensity even right to the edges.”

Michael Zagarn also supplied a Martin M2PC Console and a Martin Ether2DMX8.


TDC uses Barco UDX-4K32 for Vivid

Posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Barco noted that Technical Direction Company (TDC) was the first company to receive and use Barco’s UDX laser projectors. TDC has deployed the projector for Vivid Sydney (pictured here) and other projects.

Technical Direction Company (TDC) is involved in some of the country’s most prestigious live events. The company recently bought the UDX for large-scale entertainment and events projects across Australia.

The first to receive UDX laser projectors – only two months after the product’s launch on 30 March this year – TDC is also the first in the APAC region to take delivery of Barco’s 31,000 lumen UDX-4K32 projector.

“When Barco previewed the technology at the ISE 2017 trade show, I knew that this was the way forward for the future of large-format video projection,” said Michael Hassett, CEO at TDC.

“Laser phosphor technology is the first significant innovation that we’ve seen in the last 10 years. The quality is quite unbelievable. Artists are just amazed by its reproduction of blues, purples, and other colours that can be a challenge to project. Its potential will excite artists to delve into the detailed animation that audiences have not yet experienced.”

As TDC is involved in a number of events every year in Australia, the company has a full range of Barco projection and IP solutions in addition to the UDX in its inventory. Furthermore, TDC’s feedback regarding the UDX provides Barco with valuable data for the company’s R&D and product development activities.

“This is just the latest step in our excellent working relationship with TDC. We see TDC as not just a long-term customer but as a truly innovative partner that contributes very significantly to the development of our products thanks to their valued beta testing and feedback from their groundbreaking projects,” mentioned Wim Buyens, Senior VP Entertainment at Barco and Chairman of the Advanced Imaging Society; “Everyone who sees the projector will see precisely what we mean – it is truly a stunning technological achievement.”

Launched on 30 March 2017, Barco’s UDX laser projector is a powerful projector in the events industry and a game-changer for rental companies and AV integrators. The most compact, high-brightness laser projectors on the market, the UDX projectors deliver reliable, razor-sharp 4K images to provide stunning experiences in terms of color, resolution, and processing for every type of event and venue. The UDX series also reduces costs significantly – with savings on installation, shipping time, and asset management.

Image Credit:  TDC – Technical Direction Company.


Chauvet Professional for Great Australian Rock Musical

Posted on Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Camden Haven High School is a rural school situated in New South Wales, Australia that has outstanding facilities including a Multi-Purpose Centre. Following the success of their Back to the 80’s musical in 2015, staff and students at Camden Haven High recently held their latest production, ‘The Great Australian Rock Musical’ from March 27th to March the 29th. With this year’s musical, the school where actively seeking lighting that would give the school production an added dimension with fresh new looks. As a result, lighting designer for the show Peter Dick decided to acquire CHAUVET Professional lighting fixtures from Showtools International, to help transform the annual musical held in front of an energetic audience.

The show included songs by Australian rock icons AC/DC, Midnight Oil, Skyhooks, Dragon, Choir Boys, Daddy Cool, J.O.K. Sherbet, Ted Mulray Gang, Jet, Billy Thorpe, Rick Springfield, Divinyls and The Screaming Jets performed by a live band. The fixtures used for the show included: 8x COLORdash Par-Hex 12, 3x Ovation C-640FC, 8x Ovation FD-165WW and 6 x Rogue R2 Spots.

Peter explained why the school upgraded its lighting rig to CHAUVET Professional, ‘We decided to use a fully LED rig as we are gradually retiring all our old fixtures and didn’t want the unreliability. This left us without spare fixtures for specials so we flew some Rogue R2 Spots and they did the job beautifully.’

The Rogue R2 spots were used for gobo-morphing technology and two variable scrolling color wheels for an unlimited number of shape-changing and split-color effects. Rogue R2 Spot uses a powerful 240 W LED light source in a 16.5° beam angle for a brilliant light that creates an unparalleled audience experience, and were used to spot light various performances on stage.

The Ovation C-640FC’s were used for their rich colour as Peter commented, ‘We made extensive use of the rich colour opportunities of the three Ovation C-640FCs, which washed the cyc from above. This allowed us to create a set-type mood without moving sets or flats around – for which we have limited space.’

Furthermore, the Ovation FD-165WW fresnels were added for their incredible dimming system, ‘We appreciated the Ovation FD165WW’s natural warm colour temperature. We used its DMX controlled zoom to provide a highlight in one scene and reset it for a stage wash the next. There is so much value in one fixture. We also used 4 of these on a very high bar that has no DMX. This meant they were running solely on the dimmer, and they worked perfectly,’ Peter stated.

For a fuller stage wash, The COLORdash Par-Hex 12’s were used with 4 for front colour wash and 4 for backlight powered by RGBAWUV LEDs. ‘We were able to use the COLORdash Par-Hex 12s to match the colour of the FD-165WW owing to their amber and white LEDs,’ Peter said.

Thanks to the addition of CHAUVET Professional lighting fixtures, Camden Haven High School transformed their ‘The Great Australian Rock Musical’ for 2017 which was a successful night for all involved. With the new fixtures added to their lighting rig which produced dynamic looks for this year’s production, Camden Haven High School will be able to provide amazing musicals like this for the foreseeable future to support the school motto, ‘Aim for the highest’ with Peter adding, ‘The fixtures were so versatile we’ve left them in the air for future productions and assemblies where something special is needed.’


TDC uses d3 Technologies for Australian projects

Posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The past year has been busy for leading visual solution experts, Technical Direction Company (TDC). The company has completed work for the ‘King Roger’ opera, ‘White Night Melbourne’ 2017 and received a Live Design Excellence nomination for their work on Vivid Sydney 2016. TDC has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and has long been a d3 rental partner. Last year they also officially became a d3 Studio, building their creative space with a 180º curved projection-mapped wall and a d3 4x4pro living in the space. Here is a few highlights from what they have been working on in the last year.

TDC have worked closely on the world’s largest festival of light, video and music, Vivid Sydney. For the last 5 year’s record breaking event, TDC managed Projection, Media Servers and Animation Systems using d3 for a number of their sites. Steve Cain, d3 Integrator and Advanced Trainer adds, “two features that d3 offers is 3D visualization and footprint features to show ‘hotspots’ and ‘coldspots’ in projection mapping areas. It makes my life so much easier. We can visually represent the object or building using a 3D fly-through showing how the projection will be laid out to the site to the millimetre of accuracy.” Vivid Sydney 2017 is currently lighting up the city until the 17th of June.

TDC has also recently deployed the d3 pro range when Opera Australia presented Szymanowski’s 20th century opera, “King Roger,” in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the famed Sydney Opera House.  Previous UK productions of the opera had used d3 media servers, and the client asked TDC to provide technical continuity for the Sydney and  Melbourne run. TDC used d3 4x4pros with DVI VFC cards and Barco projection to meet the needs of the opera’s unusual set design.

“We had an eight meter fiberglass model head covered in mapped projection,” says Drew Ferors, TDC King Roger d3 Operator.  “The head rotated with tracking projection; we had to follow the 3D angle of the head live by rotating a 3D model in d3.  Projection mapping also covered the set pieces surrounding the entire upstage area.

Whilst d3 was “very stable and easy to work on, running perfectly night after night without a single issue,” he calls d3 support “second to none.”  TDC itself is one of a handful of companies worldwide with a certified advanced d3 trainer on full-time staff.

TDC also used d3 4x4pros with DVI VFC cards and Barco projection to map the interior of the Latrobe reading room of the State Library of Victoria for Melbourne’s White Night 2017 festival.  The 360º projection, spanning 114 x 25 meters, transformed the space into an underwater environment to showcase the astonishing sea life of Victoria. Says Peter Lynn, TDC Melbourne Project Manager.

“d3 4x4pros were used for this event last year with amazing results,” says Cain.  “The stability and power of d3’s features were needed to deliver this important project again in 2017.  The ability to play back large texture sizes was a big advantage.  The show had a long continuous run so having the failover feature was also an advantage – not that we needed to use it.  But knowing that d3 would keep running in the rare event of a problem gave us peace of mind.”

Becoming a d3 Studio has enhanced TDC’s production workflow, as Cain adds, “with 180 degrees of curved projection mapping and 4k displays, we do a lot of pre-visualisation and concept proofing in the studio. For example, we’re now able to bring in TV producers to show them the set and screens in relation to blocking camera positions, allowing me to identify and solve anything ahead of the actual studio time.”

The TDC team have also been using their studio for programming and as a place to teach students and staff about d3. As Cain concludes, “it’s been a great new asset for TDC and very well received with our client base and internal staff alike”.

Another high profile production TDC is currently delivering is The Voice Lives TV Show,

this broadcasts live on Ch 9 to a few million viewers every Sunday Night. “We use 2 x d3 4x4pros with DVI VFC cards to run all the graphics on this broadcast” Cain adds, “Stability, power and flexibility is what I need to deliver this ever changing show, combined with adding in NOTCH Effects, and control from Grand MA2, and chasing Kinesys, Timecode and Audio. It is the ultimate system for us to deliver this type of show”.   The Voice is an ITV Studios Production.

Sheree Marris and John Power were the artists for the White Night 2017 library installation.  At TDC Pete Lynn was project manager and designer and Tim Jones d3 operator.

Luke Halls was the projection designer for the Royal Opera in the UK and TDC’s Drew Ferors was the system designer and d3 show operator in Sydney.


GLP at Citipointe Church

Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Some absolutely cracking pics of very schmick design using GLP – German Light Products X1’s, X4 Atom’s and X4 Bar 10’s & 20’s. The design and operation was by High Impact Lighting. The innovative design called for some versatile fixtures and the GLP range was the best fit says Ash from HIL. The event ran over 3 days in late April 2017 @ Citipointe Church.